The Israel-Morocco flights “will help promote tourism, trade and fruitful economic and political cooperation between the two countries,” says Israel’s tourism minister.
Two Israeli airlines, El Al and Israir, launched the first regular direct flights from Israel to Morocco on Sunday.
Israir Flight 61 took off first at 8:15 a.m, followed by El Al flight 553, which departed at 11:35 a.m.
The Israel-Morocco line “will help promote tourism, trade and fruitful economic and political cooperation between the two countries,” said Israeli Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov, who participated in a ceremony at the airport shortly before the El Al flight.
“We continue to build infrastructure and create tourist anchors that will promote tourism to Israel for the day we beat the coronavirus. The Israel-Morocco aviation line is undoubtedly an important and significant anchor,” he said
Also participating in the ceremony were El Al CEO Avigal Sorek, El Al chairman Amikam Ben-Zvi and Ambassador of Morocco to Israel Ibrahim Bayod.
“This is another step in the actual realization of the roads opened and the bridges established between the citizens of the two countries as part of the Abraham Accords,” said Sorek.
Israel and Morocco signed a normalization agreement in December as part of the Abraham Accords. Part of the agreement included allowing regular flights between the two countries, with Israelis being allowed to visit Morocco as tourists.
El Al is expected to operate up to five flights a week to the Moroccan cities of Marrakech and Casablanca on Boeing 737s, with economy and business class options. Israir will operate two flights a week. Both Israir and El Al served traditional Moroccan cuisine on the inaugural flights, with Israir’s stewards wearing traditional Moroccan garb.
Israeli airline Arkia and Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc are also planning to start flights in August.
Israel has a significant Jewish population (between 700,000-800,000) with Moroccan roots.
Caption: An El Al Dreamliner of the kind pictured here took off from Ben Gurion Airport in the first regular flight from Israel to Morocco on July 25, 2021.